Aymeric Laporte has urged Manchester City to make Arsenal pay for their shock defeat at Newcastle as they attempt to keep their Premier League title challenge alive.
City looked to be well on the way to a ninth successive victory in all competitions and reducing Liverpool’s lead at the top of the table to a single point when they took a first-minute lead at St James’ Park on Tuesday evening.
However, Pep Guardiola’s shell-shocked side eventually left Tyneside on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline, having handed the Reds a chance to extend their advantage to seven points at home to Leicester 24 hours later.
They will return to action against the Gunners at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, with Laporte knowing there is only one acceptable response.
The French defender told City TV: “Obviously it’s always disappointing when you lose because we were supposed to get closer to Liverpool and to our goal.
“But obviously we need to learn and look forward, learn about our mistakes and think about the next games.
“There are still 14 games left, so we are going to fight until the end. We have a great team no matter what the result was, so I am not worried about the performance and the players we have in our squad.
“Hopefully we can improve and we can do better in the upcoming games. All the games are important, (Newcastle) as well.
“It was as important as the rest of the games ahead, but obviously after the defeat we are going to need an extra effort to win the following games and keep being in the title race.”
Sergio Aguero’s early strike looked ominous for Newcastle, but, although the visitors dominated possession, they were unable to extend their lead to give Rafael Benitez’s men hope.
City finally succumbed with 66 minutes gone when they failed to deal fully with a ball into the box and, when Isaac Hayden helped it back in, Salomon Rondon spun to volley the Magpies level.
Worse was to follow for Pep Guardiola’s side with 10 minutes remaining when Fernandinho’s clumsy challenge sent Sean Longstaff to the turf and Matt Ritchie stepped up to convert the resulting penalty.
Laporte said: “We had chances and we should have scored more goals. We had more chances than them, but they were just more efficient than us, to sum up the game.
“They had very few chances and they scored, and we didn’t.”